Press Release
February 27, 2008


Senator Mar Roxas said the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) should verify alleged fund transfers in relation to the controversial ZTE-National Broadband Network (NBN) project, as per the testimony of Engr. Dante Madriaga, a self-claimed consultant to ZTE Corp.

On Tuesday, Roxas made a motion to the Senate Joint Committee investigating the anomalous NBN project to formally request the AMLC to verify the amounts supposedly moved offshore, the dates of the said transfers and the names involved, as discussed by Madriaga during the hearing.

"Makikita natin kung mayroon ganyang halaga na pumasok dito sa pamamagitan ng AMLC. Proseso ito na itinalaga sa ating batas, para nga itong mga labas-pasok na pera na ito ay ma-monitor lalong-lalo na kung bunga ito ng mga iligal na gawain," Roxas, co-chair of the Senate's NBN hearings, said.

"We appreciate the testimony of Engr. Madriaga as to the amount of cash that changed hands as part of the NBN mess. But in order to build a stronger case, we need documentary evidence," he added.

During the Tuesday hearing, Roxas deferred questioning Madriaga until his claims are placed in a sworn affidavit, with all details clearly threshed out.

"I defer my questioning not because of doubts on Madriaga's testimony, but because it would provide greater weight to his statements if we base our questions on a sworn affidavit. The more detail, the more we could see the veracity of his statements," he said.

Madriaga, who said he was a consultant for NBN contractor ZTE from May 2006 to March 2007, had tagged the First Couple, along with businessmen Ruben Reyes and Leo San Miguel, retired policeman Quirino de la Torre and former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos, as major players in the anomalous broadband project.

Roxas said, "The intricacies of alleged corruption in this case-yung detalye nitong sinasabing "bukol"ay unti-unti nang lumalabas. For the Senate to act appropriately on this case, we need the whole story, and we need the full cooperation of the government."

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